X not working on precise

Dave Howorth dhoworth at mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk
Thu Sep 13 11:17:27 UTC 2012

After upgrading a machine that was hapily running lucid to precise, the
graphics no longer works. I expect it's a pretty simple problem to
diagnose and fix but I'm out of touch with the state of the X server and
config files and graphics card support etc and google has shown me hints
but nothing definitive. It's a fairly old PC.

If I run startx, it shows:

# startx

X.Org X Server 1.11.3
Release Date: 2011-12-16
X Protocol Version 11, Revision 0
Build Operating System: Linux 2.6.42-26-generic i686 Ubuntu
Current Operating System: Linux pcx36 3.2.0-30-generic #48-Ubuntu SMP
Fri Aug 24 16:54:40 UTC 2012 i686
Kernel command line: BOOT_IMAGE=/boot/vmlinuz-3.2.0-30-generic
root=UUID=39763bed-f80f-479d-9ad6-e45ecbdbcb39 ro quiet splash vt.handoff=7
Build Date: 04 August 2012  01:51:24AM
xorg-server 2:1.11.4-0ubuntu10.7 (For technical support please see
Current version of pixman: 0.24.4
        Before reporting problems, check http://wiki.x.org
        to make sure that you have the latest version.
Markers: (--) probed, (**) from config file, (==) default setting,
        (++) from command line, (!!) notice, (II) informational,
        (WW) warning, (EE) error, (NI) not implemented, (??) unknown.
(==) Log file: "/var/log/Xorg.0.log", Time: Wed Sep 12 17:17:44 2012
(==) Using system config directory "/usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d"

Fatal server error:
no screens found

Please consult the The X.Org Foundation support
         at http://wiki.x.org
 for help.
Please also check the log file at "/var/log/Xorg.0.log" for additional

 ddxSigGiveUp: Closing log
Server terminated with error (1). Closing log file.

There is of course a screen attached (Samsung Syncmaster 191T),
currently showing the ubuntu splash screen.

hwinfo tells me:

24: PCI(AGP) 100.0: 0300 VGA compatible controller (VGA)
  [Created at pci.318]
  Unique ID: VCu0.CsYoJQHOc19
  Parent ID: vSkL._0hIaPw8eI5
  SysFS ID: /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:01.0/0000:01:00.0
  SysFS BusID: 0000:01:00.0
  Hardware Class: graphics card
  Model: "ATI Rage 128 Ultra TF"
  Vendor: pci 0x1002 "ATI Technologies Inc"
  Device: pci 0x5446 "Rage 128 Ultra TF"
  SubVendor: pci 0x174b "PC Partner Limited"
  SubDevice: pci 0x7106
  Memory Range: 0xf0000000-0xf3ffffff (ro,non-prefetchable)
  I/O Ports: 0xc800-0xc8ff (rw)
  Memory Range: 0xff8fc000-0xff8fffff (rw,non-prefetchable)
  Memory Range: 0xff8c0000-0xff8dffff (ro,non-prefetchable,disabled)
  IRQ: 11 (no events)
  I/O Ports: 0x3c0-0x3df (rw)
  Module Alias: "pci:v00001002d00005446sv0000174Bsd00007106bc03sc00i00"
  Driver Info #0:
    XFree86 v4 Server Module: ati
  Driver Info #1:
    XFree86 v4 Server Module: ati
    3D Support: yes
    Color Depths: 16
    Extensions: dri
  Config Status: cfg=new, avail=yes, need=no, active=unknown
  Attached to: #14 (PCI bridge)

62: None 00.0: 10000 Monitor
  [Created at fb.71]
  Unique ID: rdCR.EY_qmtb9YY0
  Hardware Class: monitor
  Model: "Generic Monitor"
  Vendor: "Generic"
  Device: "Monitor"
  Resolution: 1280x1024 at 77Hz
  Driver Info #0:
    Max. Resolution: 1280x1024
    Vert. Sync Range: 50-90 Hz
    Hor. Sync Range: 31-82 kHz
  Config Status: cfg=new, avail=yes, need=no, active=unknown

I found

and ran a couple of commands it suggested:

$ lspci -nn | grep VGA
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD]
nee ATI Rage 128 Pro Ultra TF [1002:5446]
$ grep -i 10025446 /usr/share/xserver-xorg/pci/*.ids

It appears from synaptic that I do not have fglrx or
xserver-xorg-video-radeon or xserver-xorg-video-ati or
xserver-xorg-video-r128 installed. I don't understand why not,
especially given hwinfo appears to indicate it should use the ati
meta-driver. Nor do I understand why the grep command returned no
output, since I would hope that the Rage 128 is supported by the r128
driver. (edit: I do understand now - the only file in that directory is
geode.ids and it has just to ids in it. But I don't know why there
aren't more files, so it seems like I can't trust that web page)

I'd appreciate advice from anybody who understands why I'm in this
situation and what the best way out of it is.

Thanks, Dave

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